“Magnets… how do they work?” That’s a question you may be left to ask yourself in Major Magnet, one of the latest puzzle platformers to grace the iOS platform. The premise is fairly simple, as the eponymous Major makes his way towards the villain’s lair after losing his cape, which apparently allows him to fly. Lucky for him, he still has his trusty magnet, which he uses to spin and bounce around the game’s six worlds in pursuit of his goal.
The core gameplay is simple, at least initially. By touching a magnet, the Major runs towards it until his own magnet reacts with it, which leads to him spinning around it until you either tap it again, or tap another one. Ideally, you’ll be able to pull this off in quick succession, grabbing the doo-dads that appear around each one as you go, racking up higher scores and combos.
As you proceed, however, things get more complicated in ways both good and bad. You’ll encounter moving magnets which require you to touch them in a specific spot if you wish to obtain the full range of collectables that appear (thankfully, these aren’t necessary to progress). A swipe of the screen allows Major Magnet to perform an aerial dash maneuver, but this doesn’t always work reliably.
Then you have obstacles like certain green magnets which, while active, open corresponding doors. Once you leave one such magnet you only have so much time to get through the door. The way Major Magnet moves can make the precise jumping needed to reach the door in time much more difficult, leading to several retries and potential character deaths along the way. This is made more problematic by having to try to touch magnets not even visible on the screen– you can still activate them, thankfully, but the process feels like taking a shot in the dark.
Overall, Major Magnet is a pretty fun game, with nice graphics and sound accompanying you throughout. The core concept is solid, but some of the added elements may feel like they’re needlessly stretching beyond the game’s limited reach. It works, but expect some irritation in the process.